Floridian Effie Mae Key Schneider was born in the Bahamas, married a U.S. soldier and became an American, then gave up her citizenship in 1979 to return to work in her native country. She's been going back and forth ever since to visit her Bahamian kids and grandkids without trouble, but now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to kick her out for good.
Oh, and did I mention that Schneider says she's a descendant of Francis Scott Key?One last thing: She has an inoperable aneurysm in her belly, and her doctor has advised her not to travel. She's just the sort of person al Qaeda would want to recruit.
Yes, that Francis Scott Key.
I started on Tuesday, trying to verify the Key lineage all the way down to Effie Mae Key Schneider, 77, who lives in a nice double-wide over by the dog track in West Palm Beach.
"Oh Lord," said one genealogy expert. "It could take you several months, even several years, to do that."
Well, all I know is she and her son Eugene, 50, have reams of genealogy paperwork, all presenting a convincing argument that she's a direct descendant of the guy who wrote The Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key's family did own 228 acres of land in the Bahamas in the early 1800s, according to one library book on the family. [Link]